Om Namo Bhagvate Vasudevaya..

(SB 9.4.27)

gṛheṣu dāreṣu suteṣu bandhuṣu



ananta-kośeṣv akarod asan-matim


Translation :

Mahārāja Ambarīṣa gave up all attachment to household affairs, wives, children, friends and relatives, to the best of powerful elephants, to beautiful chariots, carts, horses and inexhaustible jewels, and to ornaments, garments and an inexhaustible treasury. He gave up attachment to all of them, regarding them as temporary and material.


Purport :

Anāsaktasya viṣayān yathārham upayuñjataḥ. Material possessions can be accepted as far as they can be used in devotional service. Ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānuśīlanam (CC Madhya 19.167). Ānukūlyasya saṅkalpaḥ prātikūlyasya varjanam. In preaching, many things considered material are needed. A devotee should not have any attachment for such material involvements as house, wife, children, friends and cars. Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, for example, had all such things, but he was not attached to them. This is the effect of bhakti-yoga. Bhaktiḥ pareśānubhavo viraktir anyatra ca (SB 11.2.42). One who is advanced in devotional service has no attachment for material things for sense enjoyment, but for preaching, to spread the glories of the Lord, he accepts such things without attachment. Anāsaktasya viṣayān yathārham upayuñjataḥ. Everything can be used to the extent that it can be engaged in Kṛṣṇa’s service.


Renunciation means to Utilize Material things for Krishna’s service

Mahārāja Ambarīṣa gave up all attachment to household affairs, wives, children, friends and relatives, to the best of powerful elephants, to beautiful chariots, carts, horses and inexhaustible jewels, and to ornaments, garments and an inexhaustible treasury. He gave up attachment to all of them, regarding them as temporary and material. Here we have a living example the advice or instructions of srila rupa goswami. Ānukūlyena..this means that complete renunciation is to utilize everything in the loving service of Krishna . Not to accept anything for our own personal selfish interest. But At the same time not to reject something if it can be used in Krishna’s service. Often times Srila Prabhupad would give an example there are many impersonalist yogis, gurus who because they do not understand the principle of loving service to the God they feel that any connection to the things of this world is a contamination and attachment therefore if you offer them some money or if you offer them some hmmm wealth of any sort they will become very disturbed how to hands out and deny the acceptance.  Get it away from me I cannot accept it, it is material. But Srila Prabhupad said if you offer me I will immediately put my hand out accept it in service of Krishna. Because in this world we understand that everything is a property of Krishna and everything is for his enjoyment and therefore everything has a very positive value by which it can be reconnected to Krishna through bhakti. This world for an advanced devotee of the lord sees that it is vaikuntha it is the spiritual world because he sees how everything is for the decoration of the lord. Everything is for his pleasure. In the temple we are sitting today we have a beautiful chandelier far more beautiful than what you find in the homes of the average person within the society perhaps some very very rich person may have a chandelier like this within their house and here we are we are in the renounced order of life we are sleeping on floor, eat whatever comes on its own accord by the arrangements of the guru and by the arrangements of the ashram. We do not complain, we do not criticize, we simply accept what comes as Krishna’s mercy for our own bodily maintenance. Yet we are sitting under the beautiful chandelier. But no one has considered even the slightest that this is mine or this is for my enjoyment. We are simply seeing how yes such a wonderful arrangement of Krishna. This is Krishna’s home and he deserves the best of everything. Therefore devotees can go through great lengths to bring beautiful gifts and offerings for the pleasure of Krishna and Krishna especially appears in the form of the Archa vigraha the worship able deity. Just so we can learn very practically how to utilize the things of this world and offer it for the pleasure of God. Of course very very advanced devotees even though they are not in presence of the worshipable deity of the Lord they assume everything for the pleasure for Krishna.



Deity worship helps develop love for God

But especially for the neophyte devotee deity worship is very very important because it gives us very practical and tangible method by which we can see how the things in this world can be used for the pleasure of Krishna. We can perceive with our very senses that here is Sri Sri Radha Gopinath, Nitai Gaurachandra, and Sri Gopal and they are standing before us, people in this world are very attracted to decorating themselves with jewelry  ah..Jewels are considered one of the most precious gifts of nature. So although we don’t wear a single jewel within our own body, we are anxious us to collect whatever beautiful jewel that the mother earth is providing ah..It comes on its own accord and we offer them for the beautification for the decoration of Sri Krishna. But Infact according to the shastras when we offer jewels for the decoration of Krishna it is not that the jewels make Krishna beautiful but Krishna makes the jewels beautiful. Similarly ah..fine silks and beautiful garments ah.. our ladies .. they spend long long long hours sewing beautiful designs ah..Practically within society you do not find anyone just so eloquently as Radha Gopinath every day ah… To utilize these beautiful materials and to utilize whatetever abilities we have for the offerings of beautiful gifts of clothes to Krishna is the proper utilization of our human intelligence and our human abilities. Similarly right now in the kitchen we can hear all the cooking is going on, infact it is going on all day ah..A couple of hours a day there is cooking for the devotees but for all day long in this small kitchen there is cooking for the deities, for the deities of Radha Gopinath. It is not that it is required for our maintenance. Of the offering we do not even hardly take any of it. We give it to our guest, so the utilization of our time to cook not just one but wonderful wonderful wonderful varieties of bhoga or food offerings, a rich offering. In Jagannath Puri there are 56 offerings a day. In New Vrindavan, I remember when I was the pujari every noon we would offer 64 items to Sri Krishna. There were about 6 people from early morning till the time of offering cooking with intense intense enthusiasm to get all the 64 offering every day for just the noon offering and there were 7 offerings a day and each offering had an average of about 12 preparations. So one may think what is the use of so much so much time and energy when one can have small offering just enough for Krishna. But through this process we developed love of God.


Use a thorn to remove a thorn

You know how to take the things of this world and use them for Krishna’s service. And of course for the purpose of preaching the devotees of the Lord ah..they print books. These big big modern printing presses ah…for the purpose of preaching sometimes flying in the airplanes, driving automobiles ah.. For the purpose of preaching sometimes devotees may have to dress very nicely. For the purpose of preaching devotees is willing to accept whatever is required to help another person become Krishna Conscious for the pleasure of Krishna. But as soon as we take any of these facilities for our own sense gratification ah..than it is the cause of bondage. But same thing is utilized for Krishna’s service it becomes the very means of our liberation from bondage. Just like the example often used by Srila Prabhupad was that if you are walking through the forest sometimes you step on a thorn and the thorn goes deep into you foot and it causes you great pain. What is the process of removing that thorn? You take another thorn and you use the one thorn to remove the original thorn. So similarly attachment to material things is the cause of the thorn within our heart which causes pain and bondage. But using the same material thing in the service of the lord removes the bondage and suffering of the human existence. The example Srila Prabhupad used to give us is that we all have a general tendency of false ego to want to become very beautiful ah..By combing the hair for Sri Krishna removes the desire to comb our own hair. By cooking the delicious food for Krishna relieves the desire to eat to satisfy our own tongue. To decorate the beautiful body of Krishna with nice jewels and clothes relieves all desires to decorate our own body with clothes and jewelry. By working very hard in service of the Lord we look we all desire for the benefits of the material world for our own means. Because we experience a higher taste. We are in our natural position and this according to the great acharyas is the true renunciation.


Teachings of Santana Goswami to use material things in Krishna’s service

We see example of the six goswamis in Vrindavan, Sanatana Goswami was living under a tree at the bank of the Yamuna on top of the hill and ah..sometimes he would roam to the Govardhan
sometimes to Nandgaon. At Govardhan he lived on the banks of Mansi Ganga. At Nandgaon he lived on the banks of Pavan Sarovar. In Vrindavan he lived on the banks of Yamuna. He was travelling throughout the Vraj Dham simply sleeping under different tree every night absolutely unconcerned where will I sleep? Where will I eat? What would I wear? The discarded cloth thrown away as useless, he would pick up and make a small loin cloth for himself that is the only clothing he required. He did not even have a second set ah..and as far as eating goes ah..Rarely even he would consider such things but for the maintenance of the body for the purpose of Krishna service he would every now and then beg for some chapattis and some rotis just take what it would require and go on with the glorification of Sri Sri Radha Krishna by chanting bhajan by chanting japa by writing beautiful beautiful books for the pleasure of the Lord for the propagation of his glories. But it is explained that when the Supreme personality of godhead in the form of Madan Mohan appeared to him. He was wondering how will I worship him. What do I have? Ah..Infact he was worshiping Madan Mohan under a tree simply offering dry chapattis. That is all that he had. Going down to Jamuna to bring water for his baths. But with great love and devotion he was always singing the glories of the Lord and offering his body, his mind, his words, his very life for the service of the Lord. By the arrangement of Sri Madan Mohan ah.. It was arranged through a wealthy merchant that a beautiful temple could be built. How did this happen? The wealthy merchant was in great difficulty and Sanatana Goswami gave him some good guidance and this man showed his devotion to Madan Gopal. He said I would give you anything you want as far as wealth and I have achieved a boat load of wealth and I want to give it all to you. Now Santana Goswami could have said no no I do not require any wealth take it, sell it, enjoy life. Santana said I do not require anything but for Krishna let us build him a beautiful house , the house that is so beautiful that the whole world would want to come and see him and worship him and that the whole world would benefit and become Krishna conscious. So they built a beautiful beautiful temple, not an ordinary temple. Hand carved stones with a high and beautiful dome like a lotus flower. But Sanatana Goswami he lived the same standard of simplicity himself. Thousands and thousands of people would come to Vrindavan. Millions in future simply to bow down to this famous deity who is living in this beautiful temple. And when they would come they would be taught the divine teachings of Srila Sanatana Goswami and understand the mercy of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. So in this way the six goswamis were teaching the perfect standard how one in the renounced order of sanyas can utilize everything for the service of Krishna and not accept anything for his own personal sense gratification.



Ambarish Maharaja’s acceptance of material things for Krishna’s service

And here in the chapter of Srimad Bhagvatam we read how the grihasta can do the same thing. There is no difference. Ambarish Maharaj had wife, had children, had relatives, had so many friends. He had a marvelous palace that he was living in. But he was not at all attached to the household affairs for his own sense enjoyment. But he responsibly maintained all of these duties of life for the service of the Lord. The service of the Lord of the renunciate like Sanatana was simply live personally a high standard of renunciation but guide everyone toward Krishna Consciousness by his teachings. Similarly a king a grihasta his duty is essentially the same to accept whatever is favorable for devotional service, reject what is unfavorable for devotional service. To maintain one’s responsibilities in a way that the whole world can see a practical lifestyle of Krishna consciousness. This is the necessity of grihasta within our community because there are very few people willing to accept the renounced order of life. This is a very very rare class of men who are willing to accept it and maintain it. Therefore for the common man ah..the perfect teacher in grihasta ashram teaches them how you in your very status right now can be perfectly Krishna conscious by simply following these principles. So Maharaj Ambarish was simply accepting the arrangement of all these material things around him in the service of the Lord. Otherwise for his own purposes he was willing to leave them behind in a second. He cared nothing for them. Maharaj Ambarish was living not for himself but he was living for others. He was looking for all humanity by guiding them on the path of dharma.


An expert preacher

Therefore a preacher is not one who simply fanatically presents the highest truth to everyone. An expert preacher is one who knows how to bring a person to the highest truth. Sometimes according to a person’s condition you have to gradually increase the dose of the medicine of Krishna Consciousness. If you try to give ah..for some diseases you have to gradually increase the dosage. If you give someone the final dose the first time he will die. Too much for him. He has to develop immunity and gradually a little more a little more a little more a little more. So a good doctor is not saying well here is the final dose ..dies. I gave him the highest dose and the best doctor because I gave him the highest dose but you killed him. The whole purpose of any medicine is to cure him and not kill him. So similarly in Krishna Consciousness ah.. we seek the truth, we give the truth according to how a person can benefit and advance. We preach the highest in Bhagvatam class and Gita class but when we personally meet every individual we must understand how to best bring that person to the point of gradually accept Krishna consciousness. That is the expertise of a great doctor or a great preacher in devotional service. Our life is simply for that purpose to live so that whoever we meet we can somehow or the other bring them closer to Krishna. Preaching means to change a man’s heart. To use whatever we have to change a man’s heart.


Perfect renunciation

So Ambarish Maharaj he had no reason no purpose to remain a king in his beautiful palace even except that it was his duty to protect all the citizens and the citizens have to have a king that they can look up to. They have to see a palace that they can respect. Yes this man is great he is living in a palace, he is wearing a crown. He is sitting on a throne. He is our king we must respect and obey him. He lived that the common man needs to see a king in this position so he was accepting it. But why.. so that as king he can guide them how to love Krishna. How to follow the principles of dharma at every stage of their life and this is perfection of renunciation.

Gṛhe thāko, vane thāko sada hari bole thāko. Whether one is a grihasta or whether one is living in the forest as a Sanyasi if one accepts this principle propagating the holy name of the God for the upliftment of all living beings and utilizing whatever is necessary to best serve the will of the guru and the will of God that is perfect renunciation. That is path of perfection. That is Bhakti. So any questions ? yes

Questions :  not audible.

Answer : You should not talk nonsense but you may discuss some social topic with the desire to with a motive to gradually bring that person into a more comfortable atmosphere by which he can accept Krishna consciousness. Sometimes the best preaching is not to preach. Sometimes the best preaching is to preach. By understanding the philosophy by chanting the holy names one gradually becomes purified and one gradually becomes by Krishna’s mercy and by Guru’s mercy one becomes sensitive to understand what is what is needed at the time hmm..Krishna in the heart will direct you if you follow the process very carefully and your sincere desire is to assist him and Krishna within your heart will guide you. Just be receptive.

Written by

Radhanath Swami

H.H Radhanath Swami is one of today’s most beloved and respected spiritual teachers. A Bhakti Yoga practitioner for 40 years, he is a guide, community builder, philanthropist, and acclaimed author.Born and raised in Chicago,at the age of 19 he discovered India's Mystical devotional tradition and now spread his message of compassion and love around the world.

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About Me

Radhanath Swami

H.H Radhanath Swami is one of today’s most beloved and respected spiritual teachers. A Bhakti Yoga practitioner for 40 years, he is a guide, community builder, philanthropist, and acclaimed author.Born and raised in Chicago,at the age of 19 he discovered India's Mystical devotional tradition and now spread his message of compassion and love around the world.